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‘Whose Voice is it Anyway?’ Active participation for a better world.

Tue 30th June 2020 - Courses & Events Summaries

Our world stands at a crossroads: ecologically, socially, culturally and politically.

Post-COVID-19, we have a chance to shape a ‘new normal’: one that puts people and planet on a par with profits, but how do we ensure that this new narrative isn’t just dominated by the same ethos that created the ‘old normal’? How do we ensure that everyone’s voice is heard; and that co-design and co-ownership of solutions by those that they are designed to assist – rather than those imposed by a powerful elite – becomes part of this new paradigm?

It’s never been more important, therefore, to engage learners in meaningful, relevant and effective activity that builds their confidence and encourages them to effect the sense of agency that leads to active participation. Creativity and innovative approaches to learning are going to be vital if we’re going to achieve this, and on Thursday 11th June, almost 150 individuals joined us online to explore and reflect on ways to engage and inspire learners with the confidence, values and skills needed to bring about the change we want to see in the world.

‘Whose Voice is it Anyway? Active Participation for a Better World’; organised in partnership by Learning for Sustainability Scotland, global citizenship project Bridge 47, the City of Edinburgh Council, and Edinburgh-based charity Scotdec, offered participants a series of workshops through which to share and collaborate on ways to encourage and support learners to make their voices heard. Practitioners of methodologies such as storytelling, outdoor learning, enabling pupil voice and global partnerships shared their expertise; whilst sessions exploring particular themes such as STEM, literacy, rights-based learning and climate justice were also on offer.

Introductory key note speaker and Director of Learning for Sustainability Scotland, Professor Pete Higgins, had the following words to say on its success: “We’re delighted that the ethos of Learning for Sustainability – an entitlement for learners across Scotland – is now being woven into daily practice by so many of our educators, as the uptake for this event clearly shows. Our teachers and learners have a key part to play in shaping a ‘new normal’ which ensures an equitable, flourishing future for humankind and the planet and we’re very pleased indeed to be working in partnership with other like-minded organisations to support them in this way.”

The event was covered in the Scotsman newspaper and you can read the article here.